back to article Wikimedia sweeps shill accounts after stunt doubles, waterparks scammed

The Wikimedia Foundation has gone on another shill-kill, announcing that it's flicked 381 “paid advocacy” accounts and pulled 210 articles created by the offending accounts. The latest action is a continuation of a long programme attempting to rid Wikipedia of poo-polishing posts. Blogging about the move, Ed Erhart and Juliet …

  1. Tom7

    Useless

    The English Wikipedia currently averages about 10,000 new accounts *every day*. What good is having a clear-out every two years where you purge 400 of them?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Useless

      Number new accounts >>> number paid-to-edit accounts

      1. Stuart 22

        Re: Useless

        Did it include our own favourite re-writer/litigant?

        Actually he doesn't have to sue. Victims roll over in anticipation. Even Vultures.

  2. frank ly

    Even more interesting

    This article in The Independent newspaper:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/wikipedia-rocked-by-rogue-editors-blackmail-scam-targeting-small-businesses-and-celebrities-10481993.html

    This mentions that the 'operation' was named "Orangemoody" after the name of the first account to be discovered. Then there is the Wikipedia entry for this:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Long-term_abuse/Orangemoody

    However, the Wikipedia article does not mention the few instances of 'blackmail' that are reported in The Independent though it does use the word "protect" in quotes.

  3. Ole Juul

    How low?

    a Texas outfit called Wiki-PR was identified as behind the sockpuppet accounts

    Absolutely amazing that some people will sink that low. Even more amazing would be their clients who must be really desperate if they think that it's not obvious to readers what's going on.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How low?

      "Absolutely amazing that some people will sink that low."

      Oh come now. There have been firms of solicitors for years that advertise "reputation management", i.e. threatening to sue people who reveal anything about their clients that they don't like. It is a big and highly profitable business.

      Wonderfully, the best known of them is actually named Schillings.

    2. Kar98
      WTF?

      Re: How low?

      Wiki-PR founders Jordan French and Darius Fisher, through their F&F Real Estate Ventures, demolished a family-owned piñata store to make way for a SXSW party, comparing its tenants to cockroaches.

  4. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    When is El Reg going to do the same?

    The level of 'internet image management' in articles about the products of a major software company is shocking.

    1. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

      Oops - I mean the comments of articles about you-know-who...

      ... of course.

  5. Elmer Phud

    Corrine? Michael? -- any comment on this?

    So, Where does this leave Grant Shapps (or whoever he is today?)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Corrine? Michael? -- any comment on this?

      "So, Where does this leave Grant Shapps"

      Still sitting on much bigger piles of money than I (and perhaps you) have got, and still knowing lots of people who would like a peerage.

  6. Rol Silver badge

    Liar liar pants on fire.

    If only!

    Seems that making money from telling porkies needs a bit of a shake down too.

    Perhaps a law can be crafted by our Westminster sock puppets to dissuade the telling of fibs for monetary or other gain...ha!

    Not while lies, damned lies and statistics are money in the bank for our capitalist overlords.

    So, lying to the courts, DWP, the police, customs and Inland Revenue will get you a bad mark, but leading the rest of us proles down the path is OK then? Our money and livelihoods are totally inconsequential and fair game for anyone with a lack of scruples and a lawyers like perversion of fact.

    I like the idea that some countries have, denunciation. You can denounce your neighbour to the local authorities for any reason you care for, not that it would result in anything more fearsome than a quiet word from the local plod, but hey, that's a vast improvement on zero intolerance for the plight of humanity.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Liar liar pants on fire.

      "I like the idea that some countries have, denunciation."

      Athenian democracy had ostracism. People wrote the name of someone they didn't like on a bit of broken pottery (an ostrakon) and put it in a jar, and anybody with enough votes got exiled.

      Which if you stop to think about it is a really bad idea given how easy it is to manipulate people. It actually makes it easier for the authorities to get rid of people they don't like.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Liar liar pants on fire.

        I denounce all people that support denunciation. I also favour taxing all foreigners living outside the country.

        1. chris 17 Bronze badge

          Re: Liar liar pants on fire.

          @AC are you a candidate for Labour leader?

          should i be addressing @JC and not @AC?

  7. asdf Silver badge

    Serious turd polishing

    >attempting to rid Wikipedia of poo-polishing posts.

    The most obvious major article I saw in the past was the article about Somalia (haven't checked lately). It made it seem like the "country" was soon on the path for EU membership or something instead of the textbook example of a failed state that it really is (though I guess Greece did blur that line).

    Edit: Yep still horseshit. Check out this line. "According to the CIA and the Central Bank of Somalia, despite experiencing civil unrest, Somalia has maintained a healthy informal economy, "

    Yeah where else can you hire real life pirates and hitmen for bags of grain.

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